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Parametric design adapts easily to the conditions of the space where it is located and harmoniously integrates functional elements, such as a staircase or a bench, giving them a stunning beauty, even reminiscent of elements and forms of nature. But what is parametric design?

In today's post we are going to talk about a design method that gets all the attention and leaves no one indifferent: parametric design. Do you want to know more? Keep on reading.

Parametric design creates unique spaces

Parametric design is a different way of understanding design thanks to technology and, specifically, to advanced digital design techniques. From a theoretical point of view, parametric design establishes a system of parameters, variables and restrictions to create versatile objects through to the application of specialized software,.

For example, if we look at a cube, the variables that we can introduce are the edges, its length, width and height with which we control the dimension of the cube. Parametric design consists of changing those variables by means of algorithms, to obtain a totally different object. As you can see, one of the characteristics of parametric design is flexibility: there are as many versions of a cube as the designer or architect wants to create.


The applications of parametric design are not something futuristic. Today we can observe the use of this technique in buildings, houses or roofs with versatile, fluid and organic designs, but it covers any field of design, from architecture or engineering, to interior design or even fashion.

Parametric design has no limits, it is bold and dynamic and it leaves geometric shapes behind to focus on organic, continuous, fluid and harmonic configurations. Its application to architecture and industrial design creates futuristic and unique spaces.


What is the difference between parametric design and traditional design?

Parametric design affects the traditional way of developing architectural or urban planning projects. A few years ago, projects were executed as something rigid, where data was introduced to achieve a goal without much flexibility.

With parametric architecture, projects have become a process where it is possible to modify variables and constraints almost instantaneously, resulting in a flexible and adaptable design.

Advantages of parametric design and its relation to nature


What are the advantages of this type of design? 


1. Greater freedom. It is possible to create irregular and fluid shapes. The most common and striking for what they represent, are the organic shapes inspired by nature. Organic shapes are characterized by their irregular and capricious contours, transmitting movement and dynamism. They adapt precisely to generic spaces, providing fluidity and continuity.


2. Unique designs. When an architect modifies any variable -points, lines, planes, volumes-, parametric software generates a range of possibilities. Nature comes into play again and this time with its capricious way of creating unique and unrepeatable forms, just like parametric design, when an architect creates a design there is no other one similar to  it in the world.


3. Flexible and adaptable. Flexibility gives this technique the power to be adapted to the needs of places or people. As in nature, columns, corners, stairs or even shelves can be integrated into spaces in a natural and organic way.


4. Aesthetics. Its aesthetic function is clearly noticeable, providing spaces with a certain level of personality and distinction, without neglecting its functional and practical advantages.


5. Unlimited. It can be used for residential, commercial spaces and other type of  buildings. It can be built with  multiple materials, from wood -pine, birch, cherry,...- to metal. The main limit of parametric design is  imagination.


As we said before, parametric design leaves no one indifferent. Did you know about its characteristics? Is there any building or space in your city that has applied parametric design?  

Master in Collective Housing UPM/ETH

The Master of Advanced Studies in Collective Housing is a professional and international postgraduate programme that is developed on a full-time basis, dealing with advanced architectural design in the city and housing. It is designed and taught jointly by the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH).


The admission period for MCH2022 is already opened, and it will remain so till 31.01.2022 or until vacancies are filled. 


For more information, click here!

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